One Room Challenge: Kitchen Progress {Week 2}

Welcome back to my kitchen refresh that's being shared with the One Room Challenge 2015 {Linking Participant}.  #oneroomchallenge

Linda {host and founder of the One Room Challenge} suggests we share our progress this week ...

After the years of dreaming and searching for a new backsplash, I'm so pleased with this tile that if nothing else changes in the kitchen, I'm OK.  That's pretty big for me to say folks.

I shopped for this tile for 3. long. years.  It was worth the wait.

As mentioned in my first ORC post {read here}, both the counters and backsplash are were Baltic Brown granite.  But, being from two different sources - the counter is a quarry slab and the backsplash was 12" wall tiles, the color ways differed.  The backsplash skewed warm with lots of terra cotta and fleshy pink undertones while the counters sported more neutral undertones.
Just Sayin' Tip                                                                      
Just like fabric, paint and wallpaper dye lots, even natural materials, such as wood and stone, can vary in color, texture, grain.  Whenever possible source materials once from the same source, or at the very least, compare the actual materials side-by-side and not a catalog image of one compared to the real item.
Still, finding a tile to work with the neutral undertone countertop wasn't easy.  To begin with, there's not a drop of white in our counters.  Trending kitchen styles incorporate lots of clean whites and that's what the big box stores stock; every white tile I sampled with our counters was too white, also clashed, and felt harsh.

If I had a chance of making white tiles work with my counters I needed a soft white; and while beige or deeper similar tones could have worked I was set on a light and airy feature wall.  Nordic classic-modern eclectic is what I yearned for ... is that even a style?

So anyway ... this past January I literally went down a wrong aisle at Lowe's while shopping for something else and stumbled across a tile randomly laying on a shelf.  Which sent me on a treasure hunt through the tile section only to be sent to another store across town.  Finally, after 3 long years, I had a subway shaped, soft white tile.  That didn't clash with the bossy granite countertop.

So before the tile went up, the granite - and wall board, needed to come.  New wall board needed to go up.  Wall repair and painting was on the list  too.  Here's a couple glimpses into all that DIY fun.

"I'm happy if nothing else changes"
"I'm happy if nothing else changes"
"I'm happy if nothing else changes"

OK, we've come across a few unanticipated issues / potential problems for my other plans.  We're standing back and trying to be smart about it all, so please check back next week.  Right now there's a pile of lumber and trim that really wants to be installed but a beam appears to be blocking that effort.  Sledge hammer time.

'Til next time,

About Robin, the Author
In between obsessing about how brown my kitchen is I enjoy cooking healthy versions of comfort-food dishes and completing a personal challenge of 365 days of daily exercise.  A lover of dogs but currently without one in residence, we’ve begun looking for a sweet new furry friend.  I believe self-care is not selfish but still is not easy and that self-care is where being the best you you can be begins regardless of age.   Email me at:

homeandatelier [at] gmail [dot] com


  1. Wow, removing that granite back splash looks really painful! On the upside, the subway tile looks great!! So glad serendipity brought you the tile of your dreams, and now you can show the bossy granite who's really boss. :) This is shaping up to be quite a transformation! Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

  2. What a ob! So glad you found the tile you wanted--it looks just gorgeous. Thanks for leaving me your sweet comment.

  3. Great work! I'm sure the subway tiles will make a huge difference in your space- it better after 3 years of searching for it!

  4. I love the tile you put up! What a huge chore that must have been to remove the granite. It looks so much better already!!

  5. Congrats on finding the tile. Bossy granite is not cool. I talked about the angels singing when I installed the tile in my ORC pantry last fall too! And actually, I also had to go on a Lowes hunt to get enough tile. Stressful, but worth it!

  6. What a big change! It looks so much better. I know that taking that granite off the wall without damaging the countertops was quite a job. So far it's looking great!

  7. What a great story about find the perfect tile. Looking forward to seeing it all put together.

  8. I hear you about the not true white tiles. I painted my cabinets before deciding to retile the kitchen and it was a bit of a challenge to match up a counter and tile that weren't white. Looking great!


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